Children to benefit from supplementary immunisation programme
Honiara, 21 May 2014 – Approximately 24,000 children under 5 years of age living in flash flood affected areas and transitional centers in Honiara and Guadalcanal provinces are targeted through an emergency integrated supplementary immunization activity (SIA). This is a post disaster response to prevent measles and other communicable disease outbreaks.
The Solomon Islands Ministry of Health and Medical Services is leading the campaign in partnership with UNICEF and WHO.
During the micro-planning session for the Honiara City Council Supplementary Immunization activity, the National EPI (expanded program on immunization) Manager, Mr. Raymond Mauriasi said “For the post disaster SIA we are aiming for more than or equal to 95 percent coverage for our targeted population, anything less is not accepted.”
He also advised that all designated health workers must reach out to all households ensuring that every single child is immunized especially in the aftermath of the recent flash floods.
Meanwhile Chief of UNICEF Solomon Islands Field Office, Mr Yun Jong Kang is calling on all parents and guardians in Honiara and Guadalcanal to ensure that their children receive immunization. “With an estimated 24,000 children under five affected by the recent flash flood, it is crucial that all our children are reached. We cannot afford to be complacent - every child must be vaccinated.”
UNICEF is providing more than SBD $200,000 worth of support including vaccines and medical supplies; ReSoMal, Albendazole and Vitamin A for the campaign.
“This was made possible through the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund, United Parcel Services and UNICEF Core resources,” said Mr Kang.
Health workers from the Honiara City Council and Guadalcanal Province will be visiting communities and transitional centres to provide Measles, Rubella and polio (OPV) vaccinations, administering Albendazole for deworming and Vitamin A. All children receiving these services have their right finger marked. Already this has commenced in Honiara and is about to start in Guadalcanal province.
All parents and other caregivers of children under age five are urged to ensure that all these children access these important health services.